Italian Regional Recipes Liguria

Torta Pasqualina, Ligurian Easter Pie with Chard and Ricotta cheese

Torta Pasqualina is a savoury pie originally from Liguria region, mainly in and around the City of Genoa.

Pasqualina‘ can literally be translated with ‘eastery‘, this pie is indeed the perfect dish to celebrate Easter at the table since the eggs inside it simbolise rebirth. Tradition says that the dough was made of 33 very thin sheets, just like the years of Jesus.

The cheese in the original recipe for Torta Pasqualina is prescinsêua, a very light, sour milk curd which is practically unobtainable outside the province of Genoa and Liguria, thus for this reason is replaced by ricotta in the rest of Italy since is easier to get. The vegetable is exclusively chard or sometimes artichoke, flavoured with fresh marjoram and with the eggs placed raw in four small dimples in the filling which will become hard-boiled during cooking. We have made the most convenient version using ready-made puff pastry.

This pie is even more tasty when cold, that’s why it is also often enjoyed as a dish for picnics and trips out on Easter Monday.


Serves: 6-8, a 24 – 26 cm Springform pan| Preparation: 30 mins | Cooking: 40 to 60 mins

  • Swiss chard: 1 kg
  • Ready rolled puff pastry: 2 standard-sized rolls
  • Creamy Italian Ricotta cheese: 350 g
  • Parmigiano, grated: 150 g
  • Eggs: 4 + 1 yolk for the egg-wash
  • Nutmeg: a pinch
  • Butter, unsalted: to taste
  • Marjoram, fresh or dried: a sprig or a tbsp
  • Salt and Black Pepper, a pinch

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Thoroughly rinse the Swiss chard, then boil them in water. Once soft and cooked through, drain and squeeze it very well the chard (be careful since it holds plenty of water), reduce it into small pieces and let it cool down.

Tip: Don’t throw away the water you used to cook the Swiss chard, you can store it it may if you’re planning to prepare some pasta or veggie soup. Check out our article on How to Re-Use Cooking Water

Melt a knob of butter in a pan, sauteé Swiss chard for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and whilst it’s still warm add the ricotta, grated Parmigiano, a pinch of nutmeg, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly.

Use some butter to grease the inside of a springform pan with high edges or lined with parchment paper. Cover it with a roll of puff pastry, fill the mould up with ricotta and Swiss chard mixture.

Use a tablespoon to move the filling around and create four small dimples, delicately break a whole egg in each of them.

Cover the pie with the second puff pastry sheet and prick it with a fork, egg-wash and bake in the preheated oven to 180°C/350 F/Gas 4 from 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Tip: To check whether your Torta Pasqualina is ready, prick it with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out dry and clean, then the filling is cooked through and your pie can be taken out of the oven. If instead the toothpick comes out wet, the filling is still too moist. Put it back in the oven.

Let it to cool down slightly before serving.

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